First look: FanSnap makes buying event tickets easy

You want to get tickets to the cool concert coming to town, or to Friday’s baseball game. How do you do it? Most of us head off to some ticket site, probably owned by Ticketmaster, and hope we win the lottery and get good seats.

FanSnap has a better idea. They show you in the stadium where you’ll be sitting and show you how much each seating area costs.

Here Mike Janes, CEO, introduces me to his company. He’s a smart guy, too, was the first manager of Apple’s online store, so his thoughts on online retailing are ones worth listening to.

UPDATE: TechCrunch writes that it’s the new Kayak of event searches.

Comments

  1. Hey Robert,

    Thanks much for coming by. It was great to have you over to the office. You captured our announcement so well. We can’t wait for your announcement.

    The FanSnap team

  2. Hey Robert,

    Thanks much for coming by. It was great to have you over to the office. You captured our announcement so well. We can’t wait for your announcement.

    The FanSnap team

  3. Well, it makes paying gougers at ticket brokers “easy,” and I guess if you’re so desperate that you would use a ticket broker, this would be the best way to do it.

    And that raises the related question, it really the best idea to launch a site based on premium-priced tickets in a cratered economy? Wouldn’t it be a masterstroke to somehow incorporate Ticketmaster, Craigslist and Ebay results so that actual reasonably priced tickets can be found?

    Or is the problem that only the brokers are giving kickbacks to these kind of services?

  4. Well, it makes paying gougers at ticket brokers “easy,” and I guess if you’re so desperate that you would use a ticket broker, this would be the best way to do it.

    And that raises the related question, it really the best idea to launch a site based on premium-priced tickets in a cratered economy? Wouldn’t it be a masterstroke to somehow incorporate Ticketmaster, Craigslist and Ebay results so that actual reasonably priced tickets can be found?

    Or is the problem that only the brokers are giving kickbacks to these kind of services?

  5. Hi Michael. Before the growth of the online ticket resale market, if an event sold out or one did not care for the remaining tickets at the box office, the only recourse was to go to a street scalper. No choice, no guarantees, no transparency as to what market prices were. eBay, StubHub, TicketNetwork, Razorgator, TicketExchange and many, many other ticket market makers all provide choice and safety. Our goal at FanSnap is to provide HD-level transparency so fans can make informed buying decisions. Also, while there are hundreds of professional ticket sellers in the US, the growth in the market is being fueled by individual sellers. Every sports league endorses a resale partner for their season ticket holders. Major media properties like ESPN and AOL endorse resale partners. Why? There is huge demand from fans who are not served by the box office. Forrester Research says it is a $3 billion/year market. There is also a misperception that resold tickets and prices are always at the high end. Prices are market-driven and fluctuate with the balance of buyers and sellers. Check out entry-level tickets this year already for many of the baseball teams. Less than $10 with fees. Watch ticket prices for any event as the date approaches. If there are many tickets available, asking prices plummet. With this year’s economic woes, ticket resale transactions are growing briskly and market prices are dropping as many more season ticket holders than usual sell their extra tickets. We actually already have eBay ticket results on FanSnap. We also show Ticketmaster event links on the event listing pages and would be happy to display their tickets side-by-side with the rest if we could negotiate a data feed. They are a little preoccupied with the government at the moment.

  6. Hi Michael. Before the growth of the online ticket resale market, if an event sold out or one did not care for the remaining tickets at the box office, the only recourse was to go to a street scalper. No choice, no guarantees, no transparency as to what market prices were. eBay, StubHub, TicketNetwork, Razorgator, TicketExchange and many, many other ticket market makers all provide choice and safety. Our goal at FanSnap is to provide HD-level transparency so fans can make informed buying decisions. Also, while there are hundreds of professional ticket sellers in the US, the growth in the market is being fueled by individual sellers. Every sports league endorses a resale partner for their season ticket holders. Major media properties like ESPN and AOL endorse resale partners. Why? There is huge demand from fans who are not served by the box office. Forrester Research says it is a $3 billion/year market. There is also a misperception that resold tickets and prices are always at the high end. Prices are market-driven and fluctuate with the balance of buyers and sellers. Check out entry-level tickets this year already for many of the baseball teams. Less than $10 with fees. Watch ticket prices for any event as the date approaches. If there are many tickets available, asking prices plummet. With this year’s economic woes, ticket resale transactions are growing briskly and market prices are dropping as many more season ticket holders than usual sell their extra tickets. We actually already have eBay ticket results on FanSnap. We also show Ticketmaster event links on the event listing pages and would be happy to display their tickets side-by-side with the rest if we could negotiate a data feed. They are a little preoccupied with the government at the moment.

  7. I personally use StubHub for most everything. And from what little you describe Robert this isn’t nearly as good.

  8. I personally use StubHub for most everything. And from what little you describe Robert this isn’t nearly as good.

  9. Yawn! nothing to see here. they are not unique enough. and what the hell does “HD-level transparency ” mean?

  10. Yawn! nothing to see here. they are not unique enough. and what the hell does “HD-level transparency ” mean?

  11. Another ticket aggregator – Give me a break. Most ticket brokers list their inventory on ALL the major boards, thus Fansnap is aggregating the *same* inventory from its ticket partners.

    So what value is Fansnap providing for consumers?

  12. Another ticket aggregator – Give me a break. Most ticket brokers list their inventory on ALL the major boards, thus Fansnap is aggregating the *same* inventory from its ticket partners.

    So what value is Fansnap providing for consumers?

  13. Hi Carrie: You are right there are many web sites that just commingle the ticket listings of the top three or four boards, and another site to do that would not be unique or interesting. Three quick points: FanSnap has direct relationships with dozens of the major ticket companies. Even a quick look on our search engine results for any major event especially shows that while brokers may list some tickets in multiple places (we make this obvious by consolidating “comparable” listings much like Kayak does for travel), there are no lack of examples of tickets that brokers only sell through their own sites. Second, the asking prices of those tickets that are shown on multiple sites may differ by as much as 20-25% depending on which site you buy from. FanSnap also makes this obvious, and gives fans the information to make a choice based on the criteria that are important to them personally. Finally, as I noted above the growth in the resale market is coming from individual sellers who generally only list on a single marketplace such as StubHub or eBay. So I guess a concise answer to your question would be that FanSnap provides the most comprehensive view of available tickets (13mm+), saves fans time, and allows them to get the most value for their entertainment dollar.

  14. Hi Carrie: You are right there are many web sites that just commingle the ticket listings of the top three or four boards, and another site to do that would not be unique or interesting. Three quick points: FanSnap has direct relationships with dozens of the major ticket companies. Even a quick look on our search engine results for any major event especially shows that while brokers may list some tickets in multiple places (we make this obvious by consolidating “comparable” listings much like Kayak does for travel), there are no lack of examples of tickets that brokers only sell through their own sites. Second, the asking prices of those tickets that are shown on multiple sites may differ by as much as 20-25% depending on which site you buy from. FanSnap also makes this obvious, and gives fans the information to make a choice based on the criteria that are important to them personally. Finally, as I noted above the growth in the resale market is coming from individual sellers who generally only list on a single marketplace such as StubHub or eBay. So I guess a concise answer to your question would be that FanSnap provides the most comprehensive view of available tickets (13mm+), saves fans time, and allows them to get the most value for their entertainment dollar.

  15. Hi DaveD: It is great StubHub meets most of your needs. Keep using them. They are one of the 57 really great ticketing companies whose ticket results we show on our ticket search engine. Remember the difference between us is that, of course as you know, StubHub is a marketplace where sellers list tickets, buyers can purchase, and StubHub coordinates the money and logistics. In contrast, FanSnap is a search engine, like Google, only we show tickets rather than URLs in our results. We are not a broker or marketplace, we do not take credit cards. StubHub, and all of our partners, use FanSnap as a channel for fans to find their tickets. Your comments implied that occasionally they do not have the tickets you are looking for, if so check us out to see who else may have your “perfect” tickets. You can see a full demo of FanSnap’s useful capabilities, including our dynamic FanSnap Maps and several industry-first features that make finding tickets fast and easy, on Robert’s video.

  16. Hi DaveD: It is great StubHub meets most of your needs. Keep using them. They are one of the 57 really great ticketing companies whose ticket results we show on our ticket search engine. Remember the difference between us is that, of course as you know, StubHub is a marketplace where sellers list tickets, buyers can purchase, and StubHub coordinates the money and logistics. In contrast, FanSnap is a search engine, like Google, only we show tickets rather than URLs in our results. We are not a broker or marketplace, we do not take credit cards. StubHub, and all of our partners, use FanSnap as a channel for fans to find their tickets. Your comments implied that occasionally they do not have the tickets you are looking for, if so check us out to see who else may have your “perfect” tickets. You can see a full demo of FanSnap’s useful capabilities, including our dynamic FanSnap Maps and several industry-first features that make finding tickets fast and easy, on Robert’s video.

  17. Hi DaveM: Fair question. Specific examples of how FanSnap uniquely provides transparency to the ticket market include: 1) showing ticket listings from 57 ticket companies side-by-side; 2) displaying prices that are a combination of the ticket price and the commission/fee for easy comparison across ticket co’s; 3) making it easy to look at tickets from several events at once (e.g. a baseball homestand, a three night concert swing, or a week of Broadway shows) so if one has flexibility they can easily compare tickets and prices across performances; 4) showing comparable (in some case identical) ticket offers in an easy comparison format; 5) showing the distribution of available ticket prices (the “market”) in a simple bar chart in the price selection tool; 6) displaying the relative price ranges of the available tickets for an event in an easy to use venue “heat map”; 7) providing zooming into the venue map to see row level labels and ticket placement so fans will know whether “Row C” means the third or the eighth row in a section; and 8) providing a “best value” feature that prominently highlights the lowest price ticket offers vs the surrounding ticket offers.

  18. Hi DaveM: Fair question. Specific examples of how FanSnap uniquely provides transparency to the ticket market include: 1) showing ticket listings from 57 ticket companies side-by-side; 2) displaying prices that are a combination of the ticket price and the commission/fee for easy comparison across ticket co’s; 3) making it easy to look at tickets from several events at once (e.g. a baseball homestand, a three night concert swing, or a week of Broadway shows) so if one has flexibility they can easily compare tickets and prices across performances; 4) showing comparable (in some case identical) ticket offers in an easy comparison format; 5) showing the distribution of available ticket prices (the “market”) in a simple bar chart in the price selection tool; 6) displaying the relative price ranges of the available tickets for an event in an easy to use venue “heat map”; 7) providing zooming into the venue map to see row level labels and ticket placement so fans will know whether “Row C” means the third or the eighth row in a section; and 8) providing a “best value” feature that prominently highlights the lowest price ticket offers vs the surrounding ticket offers.

  19. Hey, cool! I got a startup “CEO” to reply to me personally. Mike, let me clue you in on some things that Robert wouldn’t be able to.

    (1) First and foremost – you sound way too defensive in tone. Overall, you sound like you could be somebody under 30 years old – meaning that you sound like I could be your father.

    Grow up boy. You didn’t discover how to be a middle-person selling tickets to us fans who so desperately want to purchase them. You simply convinced Robert – and hopefully several thousand others for your sake – that you have some kind of unique angle to do it.

    Chill pill dude.

    (2) I’m actually impressed that you said “57 really great ticketing ways”. Not 56. Not 58. By ay chance are you from the ‘brugh? Home of Heinz? They have 57 ways too.

    That was meant as a way to make you less defensive. Please, Mike… I simply told Robert that I felt he went way too overboard as he usually does – minute before he claimed that Facebook has 700,000 new members. DAILY. Be careful who you decide to do your marketing.

    (3) So, Mike. Let’s talk about your business plan.

    First and foremost – since I’m the consumer here – why should I use you over StubHub? And sorry Mike, they’ve always – ALWAYS – provided me what I both wanted and desired. Don’t put words in my mouth – it only makes you look defensive. Like a newbie who really doesn’t have anything to offer me. Do you?

    Second, exactly what do YOU get from this?

    “StubHub is a marketplace where sellers list tickets, buyers can purchase, and StubHub coordinates the money and logistics. In contrast, FanSnap is a search engine, like Google, only we show tickets rather than URLs in our results. We are not a broker or marketplace, we do not take credit cards. StubHub, and all of our partners, use FanSnap as a channel for fans to find their tickets.”

    Huh? That is so wrong – in so many ways. Look StubHub is a broker. We all know it up front. What’s YOUR game? You certainly aren’t in this for me… you’re in this for $$$. Make it worth my while and I’m there. That’s all.

    But no. You prefer to make it sound like StubHub is – and by lack of anything else – has always benn a “partner” with you. You prefer to have a shill like Robert make it sound like you offer something unique.

    Robert hasn’t had a single unique thing to offer since 2002.

    And you sir, are way too defensive. Give me something – aything – to make me want to use you directly. Search engine? Bah.

  20. Hey, cool! I got a startup “CEO” to reply to me personally. Mike, let me clue you in on some things that Robert wouldn’t be able to.

    (1) First and foremost – you sound way too defensive in tone. Overall, you sound like you could be somebody under 30 years old – meaning that you sound like I could be your father.

    Grow up boy. You didn’t discover how to be a middle-person selling tickets to us fans who so desperately want to purchase them. You simply convinced Robert – and hopefully several thousand others for your sake – that you have some kind of unique angle to do it.

    Chill pill dude.

    (2) I’m actually impressed that you said “57 really great ticketing ways”. Not 56. Not 58. By ay chance are you from the ‘brugh? Home of Heinz? They have 57 ways too.

    That was meant as a way to make you less defensive. Please, Mike… I simply told Robert that I felt he went way too overboard as he usually does – minute before he claimed that Facebook has 700,000 new members. DAILY. Be careful who you decide to do your marketing.

    (3) So, Mike. Let’s talk about your business plan.

    First and foremost – since I’m the consumer here – why should I use you over StubHub? And sorry Mike, they’ve always – ALWAYS – provided me what I both wanted and desired. Don’t put words in my mouth – it only makes you look defensive. Like a newbie who really doesn’t have anything to offer me. Do you?

    Second, exactly what do YOU get from this?

    “StubHub is a marketplace where sellers list tickets, buyers can purchase, and StubHub coordinates the money and logistics. In contrast, FanSnap is a search engine, like Google, only we show tickets rather than URLs in our results. We are not a broker or marketplace, we do not take credit cards. StubHub, and all of our partners, use FanSnap as a channel for fans to find their tickets.”

    Huh? That is so wrong – in so many ways. Look StubHub is a broker. We all know it up front. What’s YOUR game? You certainly aren’t in this for me… you’re in this for $$$. Make it worth my while and I’m there. That’s all.

    But no. You prefer to make it sound like StubHub is – and by lack of anything else – has always benn a “partner” with you. You prefer to have a shill like Robert make it sound like you offer something unique.

    Robert hasn’t had a single unique thing to offer since 2002.

    And you sir, are way too defensive. Give me something – aything – to make me want to use you directly. Search engine? Bah.

  21. DaveD,

    You have clearly not seen the video, and clearly have not invested the time to have such a verbose opinion. You are so far offbase, I believe you have embarrassed yourself.

    Peter

  22. DaveD,

    You have clearly not seen the video, and clearly have not invested the time to have such a verbose opinion. You are so far offbase, I believe you have embarrassed yourself.

    Peter

  23. DaveD,
    You have clearly not seen the video, and clearly have not invested the time to have such a verbose opinion. You are so far offbase, I believe you have embarrassed yourself.
    Peter

  24. DaveD,
    You have clearly not seen the video, and clearly have not invested the time to have such a verbose opinion. You are so far offbase, I believe you have embarrassed yourself.
    Peter

  25. DaveD,

    First, how does one, “sound” defensive in a text comment? Are you watching video comments or listening to sound files that I do not see linked to above?

    Second, usually when you write “First and foremost” you do it only once at the first and foremost part of your comment and not again later on. Which one of your thoughts do you want us to really think is first and foremost?

    Finally, don’t be too hasty to dismiss this guy. Sure he’s trying to make money and he has a great shot at it. His model takes a lot of the shopping out of buying tickets on the secondary market. I guarantee you if he does it right you will find a cheaper ticket outside of StubHub for more than 50% of your ticket searches. Brokers will want to beat StubHub on their price every time and StubHub cannot control their price like brokers can. Price compairison alone will make it a very sticky site if they can deliver a functional model.

    This is a sound business model, so let me fill in where Mr. Janes can’t regarding your question about what’s in it for you; It forces everyone to remain competitive in price, saving you time and money you, I’ll-only-eat-vanilla-ice-cream-and-buy-my-tickets-from-StubHub-because-I’ve-been-branded-with-a-big-fat-Nike-swoosh-across-the-head-and-will-submit-to-anything-the-radio-or-TV-tells-me-too, you over-priced-paying-anti-competition-let’s-let-one-corporation-run-this-whole-country-consumer-cattle-like-follow-the-big-crowd-fool.”

    Thank our lucky stars we can count on people like Mr. Janes instead of people like you to create our way to a stronger, brighter tomorrow through sound business development. If left to you I would assume we would all be forced to drink Starbucks coffee to wash down our Bic Macs and we would all be paying the same price for one gallon of gas… oh wait… we already do that.

    What company did you say you run again?

  26. DaveD,

    First, how does one, “sound” defensive in a text comment? Are you watching video comments or listening to sound files that I do not see linked to above?

    Second, usually when you write “First and foremost” you do it only once at the first and foremost part of your comment and not again later on. Which one of your thoughts do you want us to really think is first and foremost?

    Finally, don’t be too hasty to dismiss this guy. Sure he’s trying to make money and he has a great shot at it. His model takes a lot of the shopping out of buying tickets on the secondary market. I guarantee you if he does it right you will find a cheaper ticket outside of StubHub for more than 50% of your ticket searches. Brokers will want to beat StubHub on their price every time and StubHub cannot control their price like brokers can. Price compairison alone will make it a very sticky site if they can deliver a functional model.

    This is a sound business model, so let me fill in where Mr. Janes can’t regarding your question about what’s in it for you; It forces everyone to remain competitive in price, saving you time and money you, I’ll-only-eat-vanilla-ice-cream-and-buy-my-tickets-from-StubHub-because-I’ve-been-branded-with-a-big-fat-Nike-swoosh-across-the-head-and-will-submit-to-anything-the-radio-or-TV-tells-me-too, you over-priced-paying-anti-competition-let’s-let-one-corporation-run-this-whole-country-consumer-cattle-like-follow-the-big-crowd-fool.”

    Thank our lucky stars we can count on people like Mr. Janes instead of people like you to create our way to a stronger, brighter tomorrow through sound business development. If left to you I would assume we would all be forced to drink Starbucks coffee to wash down our Bic Macs and we would all be paying the same price for one gallon of gas… oh wait… we already do that.

    What company did you say you run again?